Year 3 Rocks!

This term, Year 3 have extended their learning about the formation of Rocks and Fossils through our Rocks and Fossils Day. Mr Cartwright, a geologist, brought his extensive collection of rocks and fossils for Year 3 to examine. Some of the rocks were out of this world – literally! We were very excited to hold part of a meteorite which we discovered was magnetic! We were also a little shocked and disgusted to learn that one rock that we had been passing around wasn’t a rock at all but was, in fact coprolite (fossilised dinosaur poo!).

In museums fossils are often behind glass cabinets but our visiting museum allowed us to handle many different types of fossil – cast fossils, mould fossils and trace fossils. We marvelled at fossils from a woolly mammoth – a tusk and an enormous vertebra! We held a large tooth from a woolly rhino, examined a complete fossilised fish and learned about the strange and wonderful creatures that roamed the earth and swam in the oceans thousands and thousands of years ago. The highlight for many of us was the chance to hold a hadrosaur egg.

As part of our rocks and fossils day we learned how cast, mould and trace fossils are formed and had a go at making our own cast and mould fossils with plasticine and plaster of paris, which was great fun and a little messy!

The children learned how to identify different sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks using a scientific key and worked well in small teams discussing the different properties of the rocks that they were given to identify.


Since Rocks and Fossils day, the children have been extending their learning in science and geography by learning how soils are formed, studying different types of soil and their properties. We have investigated the permeability of compost, sandy soil and loam and made some surprising discoveries as we timed the rate at which the water passed through different types of soil. Last week the children put all their learning into practise by designing their own soil recipes for a worm restaurant.

Following on from our work on igneous rocks, the children have been learning about the formation of volcanoes in geography lessons and have produced fabulous descriptive writing about volcanoes inspired by our English lessons based on “The Pebble in my Pocket”.

We have many sharp-eyed budding geologists and palaeontologists in Year 3. It has been lovely to see so many children bringing in their own collections of rocks and polished stones as well as geodes and fossils they have found on beaches.

Rock on Year 3!

Stone Age Day


Stone Age Day

On Tuesday 31st October, Class 3 stepped back in time and arrived in school ready for our ‘Stone Age Day’. Suitably, and imaginatively dressed in an array of animal skin costumes with bandannas and clubs at the ready, we began our day.

We welcomed Vicky and Steve from the ‘Schools History Workshop’ and were soon enthralled and amazed by the large display of Stone Age artefacts laid before us.

Steve explained and demonstrated how deer antlers, wild sheep horns, animal teeth and flint stones can be transformed into Stone Age Tools; pick axes, harpoons, arrows, shovels and even needles for sewing! Everything a Neanderthal person requires. Carefully, every member of Year 3 held the precious artefacts, some dated to be over 5000 years old.

Sparks flew, as Steve struck a flint with a piece of steel, showing us how fire could be made.

As the workshop drew to a close, Chloe bravely volunteered herself to be placed in a traditional ‘Stone Age’ burial position, whilst members of Class 3 drew objects alongside her, which they decided should accompany her into the next world.

After lunch the fun continued, model Stone Age people were made, cave paintings on large stones were drawn and Stonehenge cakes were created and eaten!

We had a wonderful day which enriched and extended our learning.



Welcome to Year 3!

We have got off to a flying start in Year 3. Inspired by Ivan’s story in Robert Swindell’s Ice Palace, we have been imagining what life must be like living in a country where it is winter most of the year.  We have been learning about the dangers of the cold so that we can write a cold weather survival guide for the people of Ivan’s village. We now know what to wear to be prepared for cold weather and how to avoid frostbite and hypothermia by making snow shelters and fires.

We decided to put our new knowledge into practise by making tinder balls and real survival fires in the school field.  If you are not sure what a tinder ball is ask your child for instructions on how to make one! Happily, the rain held off long enough for us to build and light the fires. Every fire team was successful.

Well done year 3 survivors!

Out of Africa….!!

During Term 5, Class 3 warmly welcomed Mrs Reynolds and Mrs Smith to our team! They have already proved invaluable to us and are such a great help and support to the children and to Mrs Clark and Mrs Turner. We have also welcomed back to St. John’s Joaquim, who left in reception to live abroad, but we are now very lucky to have him back as a valued class member. The children were very excited to see him again and we hope that he settles back in quickly and enjoys his time at St. John’s.

The children thoroughly enjoyed the African theme to their learning last term and produced some fantastic work. They learnt about different countries in the continent which culminated in them writing and illustrating information pamphlets which they shared with each other. After reading some traditional African tales, Class 3 extended their story writing skills by writing their own. They have written poetry and produced some beautiful Senegalese sand art pictures which are displayed in the classroom for all to see.

In History, the interest level that the children have shown in our Ancient Egypt topic has been phenomenal, particularly with the life and death of Tutankhamen and they have been fascinated looking at artist impressions of him and pictures of his tomb. Many of the children have brought books and artefacts in from home which have helped to support their learning. Professor Potts also visited the class and took the children back in time on an archaeological expedition around Ancient Egypt! Layla was a great sport when she volunteered to be mummified!!

In mathematics, we began the term looking at equivalent fractions and finding different fractions that were the same size as others. We then moved on to learning about different lines- parallel, perpendicular, vertical, horizontal, diagonal. The children were fantastic at learning and applying this mathematical vocabulary. Using the roamers and working in groups, Class 3 had great fun programming them to move around the classroom, turning clockwise and anti clockwise! They also made their own angles and learnt how to identify and draw right angles, obtuse and acute angles. Miss Pilkington then taught the children about 3D shapes and they investigated their properties and made some shapes of their own which proved to be very fiddly when putting the nets together!

So what is in store for Class 3 in their final term of the academic year? We are looking forward to studying ‘Krindlekrax’ by Philip Ridley and finding out about this mysterious creature who lurks beneath pavements! In maths, it will all be about measuring- length, capacity and mass and the children will be putting their problem solving skills to the test as they investigate this topic. Our taste buds will be set alight during geography sessions, when we find out about food, where it comes from and how it is produced. The children are already honing their dance moves extremely well during Street Dance sessions and are having great fun learning their dance for the Summer Production!

The staff and Class 3 are looking forward to yet another busy term. The children are already showing that they are maturing beautifully and will be more than ready for the new challenge of Year 4 in September! This year has just flown by although there is still time for a lot more learning…!!


How Time Flies…!!!

We cannot believe how quickly the time is flying by this academic year and that we are already in week 2 of the Summer term! Class 3 ended last term performing in the Easter service at St. John’s Church. They fully embraced the opportunity and acted the Easter story brilliantly, each child having a role to play and speaking their lines clearly and with expression. The children had fully studied the story in class and during assemblies which meant that they had a comprehensive understanding of the story and what it means to Christians. We were very sad to see Mrs Inns leave the class as our TA at the end of the Spring term as she took the opportunity to work back in publishing. We wish her every happiness in her new job but will miss her very much and are very grateful for everything that she did for the teachers and children of Class 3.

So what is in store for the children of Class 3 this term? We have just started studying our new book for this term- ‘African Tales’ by Gcina Mhlophe. This is a beautifully illustrated book which tells of traditional African tales from different countries in Africa and we are looking forward to expanding our language skills and learning about the diversity of African culture by hearing some of these stories. Term 5 has a real African theme to it as we have also begun a topic on Ancient Egypt. The children seem quite excited to learn about the process of mummification!! After a visit from The Historical Characters Workshop in May, we are sure that Class 3 will develop their understanding and knowledge of this historical era even further!

As Spring is beginning and the weather is becoming warmer, it seems a perfect time to begin a Science project on Plants and Flowers. The children will be investigating the different parts and functions of plants, recognising what they need to live and grow and exploring the role of flowers in the life cycle of plants. In Maths, we are continuing work on fractions- Class 3 are becoming experts in developing their understanding of equivalent fractions through handling fraction apparatus and looking at pictorial representations. We will end this half term by studying the properties of shapes.

There seems no end to the diverse learning opportunities that the children are exposed to! Class 3 have started to learn Street Dance with Mrs Moore on a Friday afternoon. This will culminate in them performing in the Summer Production. Moreover, each child is also taking part in horse riding on a Wednesday afternoon for a series of four weeks where they will learn basic horse riding skills and also stable management.

What a busy term then is in store!! Throughout all of this learning, we are also so proud of how the children are developing and learning to express to each other our 4 Christian values of compassion, forgiveness, tolerance and trust within every day life at school. These core values are taught to the children in every aspect of school life, whether in the classroom or in the playground. Class 3 are learning that, even though it is not always easy, these values make our classroom and school a happy, fun and productive place to be.


The Story So Far…

When looking back at what Year 3 have been up to since the start of 2017, it is just so amazing to reflect on the extent of the learning opportunities the children have had, how they have made the very most of them and have progressed both academically and emotionally. What a delightful group of children they are and their teachers are very proud of them!

Class 3 are always ready to listen and learn new skills in all areas of school life. Over the course of the term whilst studying ‘Moon Man’ by Tomi Ungerer and ‘The Iron Man’ by Ted Hughes, the children have developed their poetry, story, diary, persuasive and newspaper writing skills. An impressive list of genres! They are consistently proving themselves to be excellent and creative writers. Recently, the children had to write in the style of Ted Hughes using certain techniques- not an easy task to do- but they produced fantastic and mature pieces of writing.

The children have been working hard learning their times tables and their related division facts. The tension is high every Friday when they try to beat their tables scores in our weekly challenge! They have been putting their tables knowledge to good use during our maths topic of multiplication and division. The children have learnt to apply their knowledge to multiplication work with arrays and using the grid method to solve calculations. They have also learnt to divide using the ‘bus stop’ method. We were extremely impressed with how well the children could tell the time and solve some tricky time problems! For the last couple of weeks, Class 3 have been studying fractions and have developed their understanding well in this difficult topic! They are excellent at identifying and comparing fractions and have even been able to add and subtract simple fractions!

As well as carrying out some fun experiments to learn about forces and magnets, Class 3 have also been looking at healthy diets in humans and animals. They have studied the Celts for half a term and are now learning map skills in Geography whilst finding out about the continents and countries of the World.

With 3 weeks to go of this term, there is still plenty more learning to come! Class 3 are very much looking forward to taking a lead role in our Easter service at St. John’s Church at the end of this term! What a wonderful way for them to end the Spring term! Excellent Class 3! Keep up the outstanding work that you are doing- you are a joy to teach!

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What on earth!

This week we concluded our Rocks and Soils Topic with an investigation.

We found out which type of soil was the most permeable.

Mrs Clark provided three different types of soil and some beakers, funnels, measuring jugs and a timer. We set up an experiment to see which soil allowed water to flow through easily. In order for the test to be fair we needed to make sure that the same amount of soil was put into the funnels and the same amount of water was poured through at the same time. We then timed the water for 5 minutes and discovered that the most permeable soil was the compost soil which was largely grass cuttings, leaves and dirt. The most absorbent soil proved to be the sandy soil. Several of us linked this to the difficulty we experience when trying to fill the moat around a sandcastle because the seawater continually soaks away! Ted told us to ‘Line the moat with pebbles and stones,’ I wonder why?

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Pass The Pebble!!

Class 3 have begun to study the book ‘Pebble In My Pocket’ by Meredith Hooper. They started by passing a pebble around and each child had to use their senses to describe it, coming up with their own adjectives, phrases and similes.

The children then illustrated their pebble with pastels and wrote their descriptive words and phrases around it:


We all then gathered together as a class and created our own amazing class poem where the children selected their favourite and most powerful descriptive words and phrases:

My Pebble

My pebble is round and glittery like a beautiful star in the inky sky,

Quietly, it moves under the shiny, sparkly and shimmering sea,

Crystals sparkle like a diamond necklace,

As round as the colossal Earth,

As cold as slate,

Creamy grey like a pom pom on a hat,

The sea crashing against the pebble on a beach like horses’ hooves,

A white round pebble lays lazily on the beach,

Soft and peachy like a hyena’s skin in the hot desert,

The sandy, rough and spotted pebble is like a 3 coloured rainbow,

Like a thunderstorm cloud in the gloomy sky,

The sea rocks the pebble to and fro like a see saw,

Rough, bumpy and sandy like concrete.

By Class 3.

Year 3 were rightly proud of their poem and enjoyed reading it as a class performance! Excellent work Class 3!!

Welcome to Term 2!!

On behalf of the staff and children of Year 3, a very warm welcome back to everyone after the Half Term break! We hope that you all enjoyed a restful week and managed to enjoy the wonderfully sunny autumnal days!

Class 3 have returned to school fighting fit and have definitely shown that they are ready to work very hard again this term! They have written their ‘hot task’ quest stories this week based on the book ‘The Ice Palace’ by Robert Swindells and have included in them many of the writing techniques that they learnt last term such as adding adjectives, similes and adverbs. As well as setting the scene in their stories, introducing their characters, creating a problem and resolving it, the children have also learnt how to vary their sentence length to add tension or to write description. Brilliant- very well done Class 3- you are all super writers!

Next week we are excited to start studying our new book for the term, ‘Pebble In My Pocket’ by Meredith Hooper, in which the history of a simple pebble is explained. This is a beautiful book to stimulate interest in the natural world. It also fits in really well alongside our Science project on Rocks and Fossils and this term’s topic on Volcanoes and Earthquakes.

So we are all looking forward to another busy, productive and fun term of learning in Year 3!


Yabba Dabba Dooo….!!!!!

What an absolutely fantastic ‘Flintstone Day’ Class 3 had on Thursday!! The children arrived at school looking like mini Stone Age men and women- their costumes were all brilliant and everyone had made such an effort to get into role!!

The day began with a visit from The School History Workshop. This was led by Steve and Vicky who had brought in with them some actual Stone Age artefacts that the children were allowed to handle, find out what they were used for and how they were used. Steve and Vicky were so informative and we all learnt so much about the changes that happened in daily life in the Stone Age through to the Iron Age.

Class 3 also learnt how to bury their dead as if they were living in the Stone Age. Lenny was our ‘guinea pig’ as we pretended to bury him in the ‘crouch position’ and send him into the afterlife with offerings of food, drink, toys and anything else that we felt he may find useful!!

During the afternoon, the children enjoyed a carousel of three different activities: they decorated Stone Henge cakes, made little Stone Age people that they then made up plays with and they also coloured a Stone Age scene. We ended then day by reading the story ‘Stone Age Boy’ by Satoshi Kitamura  which tells the tale of a little boy who ends up living in the Stone Age for a while and learns many of the facts that Class 3 have discovered over the last few weeks.

The children showed themselves to be really careful listeners during the day and participated in all the activities seriously and sensibly so that they could make the most of their special day of learning. Very well done Class 3!! You were all amazing! Thank you also to all of the parents and carers who provided their children with such wonderful and authentic costumes!